2022-2023 Annual Report
The Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau's Annual Report updates you on the Bureau's progress toward increasing the area’s visitor and convention business. Review 2022-2023 progress reports here for sales, destination services, marketing and communications, public relations and international tourism, sports marketing and administration and destination technology, plus see a summarized report on Destination Strategic Plan work for the 2022-2023 fiscal year here.
Review the Bureau's business plan online for a summary of strategies and objectives for the 2023-2024 fiscal year.
We have also produced a Wake County Visitation Data Supplement with our partners at Arrivalist, a geo-location and ad measurement tool for destinations. You can view the report here or at the button below.
Letter from Chair Mark Zimmerman
Dear Partner in Wake County Hospitality and Tourism,
As CVB board chair this fiscal year, it was my pleasure to help the Bureau in leading our continued push to full economic recovery for area tourism post-pandemic. Our 2022-2023 Business Plan identified many sales/marketing opportunities to grow visitor demand for Wake County, and Bureau staff has aggressively remarketed the area throughout the past year, setting equally as many records with their measurable performance objectives at year-end.
With the release of this Annual Report, we are excited to announce that Raleigh and Wake County attracted 17.8 million visitors in calendar year 2022—a figure just 100,000 visitors shy of 2019’s visitor total which represented the county’s best year ever for tourism. Those 17.8 million visitors spent $3 billion in our local economy, 1.2% more than in 2019 and 26.1% more than their spending during calendar year 2021.
The latest calendar-year data on our visitor economy indicate full industry recovery for Wake County food & beverage as well as lodging. The 2022 local retail industry spending by visitors reached 93% of its 2019 level, while our area’s entertainment/recreation and transportation industries both reaped more than 28% sales growth from arriving visitors.
Direct spending by Wake County visitors generates more area tax revenues, two of which (comprising the Interlocal Fund) contribute to the CVB budget and the Bureau’s work in attracting new visitors for the months and year ahead. 2022 hotel occupancy tax revenue for Wake County reached its highest total on record at $32.95 million, and Wake County’s prepared food & beverage tax revenue also made history in 2022 with $40.9 million collected.
All local/state tax revenues generated by 2022 visitation amounted to $287 million. This hard-to-replace contribution to our area’s tax base would not be possible without the work of the CVB and its area hospitality business partners in stimulating visitor demand for our product. Put another way, this $287 million generated by Wake County visitors saved each resident household $601 on its 2022 tax bills.
Continued recovery in tourism sales/tax revenues has also resulted in job growth and more recent hires in the local hospitality sector. In 2022, 24,591 people worked directly with visitors in Wake County, up from 21,357 during 2021. In addition to sustaining these 24,591 jobs, greater area visitation made possible their combined payroll total of $830 million in 2022.
The CVB, with its 2022-2023 budget of $9.6 million, was directly responsible for harvesting direct economic impacts of $166 million for Wake County based solely on new convention and sports group bookings made here, representing a 17-to-1 return on budget invested. Greatly increased leisure/getaway visitation to our area also generates economic impacts many times over.
On behalf of the Board, I would like to specially thank these key stakeholders—Wake County Board of Commissioners, Raleigh City Council, Centennial Authority, Raleigh Convention Center, Greater Raleigh Sports Alliance Advisory Board, all area town officials, all local hospitality businesses as well as the Destination 2028 Blue Ribbon Task Force—for their commitment to tourism’s comeback and their long-term support for Wake County’s Destination Strategic Plan implementation (we are halfway there).
Please review all the accomplishments of CVB departments/staff in 2022-2023 on these ensuing Annual Report pages.
MARK ZIMMERMAN, Chair
Greater Raleigh Convention and Visitors Bureau Board of Directors
Corporate Director of Hotel Operations, TBC Hotels